Horse Whisperer — Instructor Randee Fox uses the power of Nia to connect her students with the natural world

April 16, 2015

To the untrained eye, the scene unfolding in the pen looked simply like a horse cantering around the fence line, ignoring the woman in the middle trying vainly to corral the recalcitrant mare.

By Greg Farrar Caanie and her owner, Randee Fox, bond in the corral after the quarter horse has spent about 10 minutes running on her own in the enclosure of Fox’s ranch in Sammamish.

By Greg Farrar
Caanie and her owner, Randee Fox, bond in the corral after the quarter horse has spent about 10 minutes running on her own in the enclosure of Fox’s ranch in Sammamish.

But then the amazing occurs — the horse stops, as if noticing the woman for the first time. The woman turns her back to the mare and the mare walks up to the woman’s side, as if it were a remorseful puppy remembering that it indeed was taught to heel.

The onlookers are astonished as the duo are now moving as one — the woman leading the horse as if with an invisible rope, the mare keeping within half an arm’s length as they move about the pen.

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Fuzzy Logic — Family software business aims to revolutionize your workout

April 16, 2015

Imagine going to the gym, walking up to a treadmill and having it recognize exactly who you are and what you’re trying to accomplish without inputting any information.

By Greg Farrar Shalini Koduri (left) and husband Sunil, of Sammamish, and Shalini’s father, Dr. Suray Bhatia (from left), comprise the Zsolutionz software company, and stand with a working treadmill prototype that uses their ZOFIE personalized workout programming.

By Greg Farrar
Shalini Koduri (left) and husband Sunil, of Sammamish, and Shalini’s father, Dr. Suray Bhatia (from left), comprise the Zsolutionz software company, and stand with a working treadmill prototype that uses their ZOFIE personalized workout programming.

That’s the vision co-founders Sunil Koduri, Shalini Koduri and Dr. Suray Bhatia have for their software company, Zsolutionz, which is in the process of finalizing a program known as ZOFIE — short for Zsolutionz Optimal Fitness Interactive Experience.

The Koduris, who are married and have lived in Sammamish for 18 years, began working on ZOFIE three years ago with Bhatia, Shalini’s father, who is a retired Boeing engineer.

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Comeback Kid — How Sammamish resident Greg Ogata worked his way back from a 2012 stroke

April 16, 2015

If you’ve ever met Washington State Dental Association President Dr. Greg Ogata you won’t likely forget him.

By Anita Nowacka Washington State Dental Association President Dr. Greg Ogata

By Anita Nowacka
Washington State Dental Association President Dr. Greg Ogata

Ogata’s booming timbre often precedes him, reverberating well beyond the space he occupies. The former college lacrosse player seems to always be on the move, with boyish enthusiasm and a quick smile for all he encounters.

All of that makes it hard to believe that two years ago he suffered a stroke. It’s been a formidable journey, though some would argue that the cost was high — the Sammamish resident sold his Issaquah practice last year and is now on disability.

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Friendly fire — Football coaches build a chummy rivalry in the heart of Sammamish

April 16, 2015

Don Bartel and Mat Taylor coach rival football teams located only a mile apart, so that might give them reasons to not like each other.

By garpigs4/Youtube Eastlake High School football coach Don Bartel applauds on the sideline after a play by his team during a 2013  postseason victory over Union, of Camas.

By garpigs4/Youtube
Eastlake High School football coach Don Bartel applauds on the sideline after a play by his team during a 2013
postseason victory over Union, of Camas.

The truth is, Bartel and Taylor are close friends who live near each other in North Bend, talk on the phone nearly every day, and spend time together when they’re not busy with the year-round task of managing a high-school football program.

Taylor, who has won four state titles in his first seven seasons at Skyline High School, and Bartel, who’s entering his third season at Eastlake High School, have known each other for more than a decade, dating back to their time as assistants at Skyline under former coach Steve Gervais.

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Livin’ the ruff life

April 16, 2015

As told to Christina Corrales-Toy

By Greg Farrar Guero and Xochitl enjoy a walk with their master through the forest trails at Beaver Lake Park in Sammamish.

By Greg Farrar
Guero and Xochitl enjoy a walk with their master through the forest trails at Beaver Lake Park in Sammamish.

I live a very charmed life.

I know it, my human caretakers know it and anyone who sees me cruising through Beaver Lake Park in my cute little sweater knows it.

I’m Xochitl and I’m a Sammamish Plateau pup. My name is pronounced Sochi, just like the Russian city that hosted the 2014 winter Olympics.

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Success tastes a lot like bacon — A national craze to make everything better with bacon originates in a Klahanie kitchen

April 15, 2015

A long time ago (actually 2007) in a galaxy far, far away, (well, a kitchen in Klahanie), two rebels, Dave Lefkow and Justin Esch, struck a victorious blow for pork against the evil empire of beef — they invented J&D’s Bacon Salt.

Contributed Friends Justin Esch (left) and Dave Lefkow combined their business acumen and their love of bacon to develop the first run of Bacon Salt — peppered, hickory and original.

Contributed
Friends Justin Esch (left) and Dave Lefkow combined their business acumen and their love of bacon to develop the first run of Bacon Salt — peppered, hickory and original.

Riding a wave of a 40 percent increase in bacon consumption between 2002 and 2007, the two friends wanted to translate their love of the pork product into something that would make everything taste better.

“Our goal was making something that tasted like bacon frying on a Sunday morning,” Lefkow said.

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Volunteers of note — Part-time musicians have kept the Sammamish Symphony playing for 23 years

April 15, 2015

“Very few people make music because they are forced to,” said Adam Stern, interim conductor of the Sammamish Symphony Orchestra. “People make music because they are called to it.”

By Greg Farrar Adam Stern, lower left, interim Sammamish Symphony Orchestra conductor, leads the musicians in a rehearsal March 26 for their upcoming performance of ‘Carmina Burana’ and other pieces April 19 at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall.

By Greg Farrar
Adam Stern, lower left, interim Sammamish Symphony Orchestra conductor, leads the musicians in a rehearsal March 26 for their upcoming performance of ‘Carmina Burana’ and other pieces April 19 at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall.

The only exceptions are probably younger children forced into music lessons by well-meaning if misguided parents, Stern adds.

His initial statements certainly apply to the roughly 100 members of the all-volunteer Sammamish Symphony.

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Healthy friendship — Service dog enables Army veteran to enjoy triumph over tragedy

April 15, 2015

“There is no better feeling than knowing someone’s got your back regardless of the situation or the circumstances,” said Shanda Taylor-Boyd, a 23-year military veteran whose biggest life challenges have come since leaving the Army.

By Jerry and Lois Photography Shanda Taylor-Boyd hugs her service dog Ranger in a professional portrait.

By Jerry and Lois Photography
Shanda Taylor-Boyd hugs her service dog Ranger in a professional portrait.

A single mother of three grown daughters, her back — and front, for that matter — is always covered by her ebullient 10-year-old golden retriever service dog Ranger. And likewise, she and her circle of friends had his when he was about 1½ years old and began suffering from masseter muscle myositis, an auto-immune inflammation of the muscles that work the jaw, causing swelling and making it hard for him to chew or even open his mouth.

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Sammamish Scene 2014

April 11, 2014

Sammamish Scene 2013

April 15, 2013

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